Kaluga Region – Where Youth Business Russia Begun
On May 28, 2010, interim results of the pilot project under the Youth Business Russia Programme (YBR) were presented in the Kaluga Region. As of May 21, 2010, key outputs were the following: young entrepreneurs got loans worth 4,220,000 rubles, 123 new jobs were created, and support was provided to 62 dependants of young businessmen and their employees. Not a single youth enterprise has been closed down during the 2 years of project implementation.
Sergey Medov, Deputy Head, Entrepreneurship Department at the Kaluga Regional Economic Development Ministry welcomed the attendees. He pointed out that the Youth Business Russia Programme promoted a positive environment for generating business initiatives among young people.
“I am genuinely happy that Youth Business Russia Programme was launched here, in the Kaluga Region. Young individuals get practical assistance under the Programme and when they take out loans they are provided with training, consultations mentors’ assistance which works far much better that any collateral”, said Boris Tkachenko, Youth Business Russia Programme Manager, Head of the Branch Office in Russia of the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF).
“The Programme’s and our mission are very similar, that is why we were pleased to join the partnership for the Programme’s implementation in the territory of the Kaluga Region,” says Ekaterina Boutova, President of ZAO NDKO Women’s Microfinance Network.
Natalia Shigapova, Youth Business Russia Programme coordinator in the Kaluga Region said: “We offer a one-of-its kind model of micro-lending and mentoring for start-up entrepreneurs. Our project is unique in that loans are extended specifically to start a business – neither banks nor other credit institutions would do this today. In addition to financial assistance, Individual mentors, consultations and training are available to young entrepreneurs - this helps them reach firm ground within a shorter period of time and avoid common mistake start-ups make.”
Irina Gorelova, the Programme’s Coordinator for the Voronezh Region, sharing her experience in implementing the mentoring programme, noted that all young people initially turned for financial assistance, but their mentors’ input eventually turned out to be even more relevant and valuable.
Galina Kozyrko, Manager, Employment Department, Kaluga Regional Ministry for Labour, Employment and Human Resources Policy said: “Our cooperation with the Programme is very important for us, as young individuals aged 18-35 account for 40% of potential business starters – applicants for government subsidies in support of the unemployed. And we are happy that one out of three Programme’s participants is a ‘graduate’ of the Employment Center.”
Victor Glushkov Small Business Development Officer, Oxfam (UK): “We are very pleased with the results the YBR achieved in the Kaluga Region. It is good to see that an increasing number of young individuals are ready to assume responsibility, start a business of their own, to financially support themselves and, through creating new jobs, support their employees.”
Elena Trakhtenberg, Sustainability Manager, the Royal Bank of Scotland (ZAO) said: “This is an efficient and successful Programme; it creates new jobs and provides assistance to those who find it especially challenging to make initial steps in business. We believe that the interest of the big businesses operating in the Kaluga in the Programme is very encouraging. The Royal Bank of Scotland (ZAO) highly valued the results of the two initial years of the Programme and delivered an unrequited grant to replenish its loan portfolio.”
The attendees discussed involvement of businesses operating in the Kaluga Region and welcomed the Programme’s new partner – OOO SABMiller RUS. Kirill Bolmatov, Government Relations Director noted: “OOO SABMiller RUS maintains that facilitation of entrepreneurship is a key priority in sustainable development across the world. We are pleased that the Youth Business Russia Programme is fully in line with our values and, thanks to the International Business Leaders Forum, we can join efforts with numerous governmental, commercial and public organizations to achieve a common goal so important for the entire society.”
Evgeny Orlov, a young entrepreneur – YBR participant thanked the Programme’s organizers and said: “I got very timely and valuable assistance from the YBR as virtually the entire start-up capital was the money delivered by the Programme.”
Irina Ageeva, DepartmentHead, Youth Policy, Kaluga Regional Ministry for Sport, Tourism and Youth Policy: “It is important for us that our cooperation with the YBR started at the very time the regional partnership was formed. I’d like to point out that the young businessmen – YBR participants are actively involved in the projects our department initiated. We are sure that our cooperation will continue to be as successful and fruitful in future.”
The forum discussed issues of youth employment, support for start-up businessmen and their involvement in the region’s social and economic development. The event, arranged with the support of the Kaluga Regional Ministry for Economic Development, coincided with Russian Entrepreneurs’ Day.
Youth Business Russia Programme